The Williams Police Department Explorer program is providing an opportunity for young men and women between the ages of 14 to 20 to work alongside, train with and aid police personnel.
Williams’ Youth Outreach Police Officer, Ivan Maldonado, started the Explorer Program with his department about a year ago.
With eleven students currently enrolled, the program provides students with specialized law enforcement training, leadership opportunities, and community service; all while instilling ethical development for those interested in a law enforcement career.
“The students meet weekly for both classroom instructional and hands-on training in the different positions of Law Enforcement,” said Maldonado, “the students also engage in leadership roles to become better citizens within our community.”
“This past weekend [the Explorers] collected toys for needy children which showed me these teenagers have a strong understanding of voluntarism and coming together as a community – and our department couldn’t be more proud of them,” added Saso.
“The Toy Drive was our first community project within the explorers program,” Maldonado added.
“The Williams Police Department is proud to be coordinators of Colusa County’s only Police Explorer Post,” said Williams Police Chief, Jim Saso, “Officer Ivan Maldonado and all the members have shown an impressive dedication level and interest in all they’ve done.”
This is the first program of its kind for the Williams Police department.
“The [Colusa County] Sheriff’s Department had an explorer program several years ago,” said Saso, “Six years ago we hired a Police Officer, who had taken part in the Sheriff’s Office program a few years prior.”
Another participant from the Colusa County Sheriff’s Department Explorer program has a career as a dispatcher with the Marysville Police Department.
“We hope the participants interested in continuing a career in law enforcement or the criminal justice field, take some positives away from their experiences,” said Saso, “like any member of our organization, we’ll help support them any way we can.”
Police Officers within the Williams Police Department are providing the members with valuable educational needs to begin a career in law enforcement and give tangible advice on how to prepare and position themselves for a successful career.
“The primary goal of the program is to help our young adults choose a career path within law enforcement and to challenge them to become responsible citizens of their communities,” said Maldonado.
“We are looking forward to growing participation in the program, becoming more visible within the community, and helping to prepare the participants for a career after High School,” Saso added.
The Williams Police Department plans to host a youth Police Academy during the summer months.
Explorers must between the ages of 14 and 20 ½ years old, and currently enrolled in school with a ‘C’ average.
Anyone interested in becoming involved with the Williams Police Explorers program, please contact the Williams Police Department Youth Outreach Officer, Ivan Maldonado at (530) 473-2661. Information is also available at the Williams Police Department located at 700 North Street, Williams CA 95987.